Hazel Nuts

1980. Imagine This…

By marymullen | December 19, 2019

You’re just graduating high school.  You’ve got a bright future ahead of you because you have a strong supportive Mom, a loving younger brother and friends who all love you because you are lovable. A freak accident occurs.  The car shows the least little bit of damage yet you were impacted in a way that will alter life the way

2001. Fundraising 101

By marymullen | October 20, 2019

I found these fundraising 101 documents that she saved since ’01. She also had “intro to computers” and “intro to word processing” tutorials. A few times this past year she mentioned that she’d like to learn computer.   Back in 2001, I was providing fundraising counsel to three statewide organizations, I had dozens of successful fundraising events under my belt,

2018. Advocacy 101.

By marymullen | December 16, 2019

I was heated under the collar when I wrote this last year.  The multi-cultural, multi-language, multi-person grocery shopping faux pas continued until the week prior to Hazel’s passing.  The struggle was real. Mary Mullen – December 16, 2018 at 6:56 PM ·  Three months learning the ways of the house and the likes and dislikes of the Mother and the

2018. Aging. Dementia. Alzheimer’s.

By marymullen | December 19, 2019

Mary Mullen December 19, 2018 at 9:03 PM · She: Don’t ask me to remember. Don’t try to make me understand. Let me rest and know you’re with me. Kiss my cheek and hold my hand. Me: OK. I won’t ask you to remember certain things… but, I will ask you to share what you remember now. I won’t try to

2018. Changing The Song…

By marymullen | December 19, 2019

Mary Mullen December 19, 2018 at 8:38 PM · I heard the incessant questions from a floor above. It didn’t take me long to go downstairs to “change the song”, which is what I call it when the subject needs to be diverted. My friend said, “OMG, it’s your turn”. I learn a lot about her when I try to change

2018. Contemplating Holiday Meal Prep

By marymullen | November 12, 2019

Mary Mullen November 12, 2018 at 8:05 PM · I was raised to do this. The company you keep and who you extend yourself for is the most important part. But, the prep, the serving, the packaging up and sharing left overs with those who couldn’t join is equally important. Good holidays last for days where I come from. I haven’t

2018. Freezer Food On Hand.

By marymullen | November 1, 2019

Mary Mullen November 1, 2018 at 7:37 PM · It’s beginning to look a lot more like my freezer now. I’ve been at the cooking and packaging for freezer all week. During that time we had nightly meals of meatballs, pork and gravy, roasted chicken and vegetables, two soups, shrimp, mushrooms over linguini, shake and bake pork tenderloin with real mashed

2018. Guess Who Else Likes Asparagus…

By marymullen | October 25, 2019

Mary Mullen October 25, 2018 at 10:54 PM · A lot of love is discovered during food prep and meals. I talk and prep much more food than I ever eat… I do for the love.  That being said, I discovered that Hazel has a favorite.. and it’s asparagus. Imagine that. She likes asparagus with bechamel sauce and sliced boiled eggs.

2018. Hazel And I Were Both Blessed…

By marymullen | December 8, 2019

Mary Mullen is feeling blessed. December 8, 2018 at 7:15 PM ·  I could have logged in and started complaining that my Uber driver left me stranded at Walgreens when I scheduled a round trip…. BUT – a wonderful Secret Santa left me a package on my doorstop and it changed my mood in an instant!! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You

2018. Hazel Nuts Roasting…

By marymullen | December 6, 2019

2018. I Had The Touch With Her. It’s The Old Waitress In Me…

By marymullen | November 7, 2019

1 year ago Mary Mullen November 7, 2018 at 7:25 PM · Me: will you be my dinner companion tonight Hazel? She: well, I’d gladly join you but I don’t want to eat. Me: OK…. maybe you’ll change your mind when you see what I made. She: (adamant when she sees I made her a plate) I told you I don’t want

2018. Introducing Old Life To New Life.

By marymullen | December 2, 2019

Mary Mullen was remembering all the happy times we had together. December 2, 2018 at 7:26 PM ·   I had niece time last night. I gave her an intro to “Hazels World” and gave her the 30 year old background of how I came to be here. That’s a story in and of itself and a lesson on how important it is

2018. Meet Chicago

By marymullen | November 18, 2019

Remember Chicago? He was a wicked mean, biting cat that only Hazel loved. The rest of us were scared of him. I forget when he died but I suppose facebook will remind me. It was freaky taking care of him after he went blind. If he wasn’t scaling a wall to find his way, he’d sit one inch in front

2018. Meet Rocky. The First Of Many…

By marymullen | December 15, 2019

Mary Mullen December 15, 2018 at 4:43 PM ·  Introducing Rocky. He’s a very cute French Bulldog puppy who is currently healing from a hind leg surgery. I have a hunch that once he is all healed, he may become the new man of this tiny little house. It’s just a hunch. #2018Christmas perhaps?

2018. My Little “For Now” Family…

By marymullen | December 10, 2019

Mary Mullen December 10, 2018 at 7:38 PM ·  My new little “for ‘now’ family”.. the night girl has her youngest sister visiting from far away. They look so much alike. Cute as buttons. Both with incredible smiles. I made enough American chop suey to go around, I had some brownie cookies to share and I let her know there

2018. RIP Chicago. I Did My Part.

By marymullen | November 24, 2019

Mary Mullen November 24, 2018 at 5:39 PM · Chicago. The pet of a quadriplegic son who is no longer with us. A cat who doesn’t require, nor is accustomed to human contact. A biting cat. I’ve never pet a cat in my life and I’m not starting on this one. I am a dog person. That being said, this cat

2018. She Calls Me Mary

By marymullen | November 27, 2019

Mary Mullen November 27, 2018 at 12:07 AM · The shifts change but she knows I’m right upstairs for her. That makes me happy. She calls for Ma all the time, but, she’s started to call for Mary. It’s my name and her first name. That makes me happy. I don’t interfere… I just intervene when the urge is overwhelming… My

2018. Sick Cat, Sick Person. Sick Sucks.

By marymullen | November 24, 2019

Mary Mullen November 24, 2018 at 2:22 AM · Happenstance? Serendipity? I believe in Karma, not coincidence…. She came down with a terrible cold. It breaks my heart to hear her pained voice and see her sick. She’s not asking for her Ma at the moment…the most she asked for was a coffee cabinet and tissues. I ordered tissue this week

2018. Stretching A Buck.

By marymullen | December 20, 2019

I learned to stretch a buck from my frugal Mom who raised seven children.  Sometimes good food can miraculously multiply when additional guests visit at meal time – other times it can be a struggle. 1 year ago Mary Mullen December 20, 2018 at 10:41 PM ·   I’m frugal. He’s cheap. I said, listen, I’ve been feeding your Mom for

2018. Thanksgiving Volunteer Chef

By marymullen | November 18, 2019

I provided Hazel a very tasty and enjoyable last Thanksgiving 2018. Mary Mullen  November 18, 2018 at 6:42 PM ·  Me (to Hazels son): I volunteered my time and skills to prepare a real Thanksgiving dinner for your Mom and any family you want to invite. You’ve got 5 girls in and out of here each week plus me and

2018. The Chaos Begins…

By marymullen | November 13, 2019

1 year ago Mary Mullen October 17, 2018 at 5:56 PM · I told Hazel that I made myself a nice dinner. She asked what I made. Me: Simple chicken, veg and rice casserole She: Nice Me: I’d like to watch the news at 6 pm… can I come watch the news with you? I’ll share my dinner She: Sure, you

2018. The Introductions Continue.

By marymullen | November 12, 2019

Mary Mullen November 12, 2018 at 3:35 PM · It was a pleasure to visit with Hazels son and daughter in law today. They’ve been away on business for about 6 weeks. It was like watching the second coming of Christ. Glad they saw how well everyone is melding… particularly me and Hazel. They brought a present home. A water fountain

2018. The Queen And Halloween

By marymullen | October 31, 2019

1 year ago Mary Mullen October 31, 2018 at 6:46 PM · With such good intent, she made a special trip to the store and bought a huge basket full of candy for Hazel to pass out because it’s Halloween. I said: You don’t have to pass out candy tonight. She said: of course we do. Hazel wants to. It’s

2018. This Is How The “We” Began…

By marymullen | October 27, 2019

1 year ago  Mary Mullen – October 27, 2018 at 12:17 AM · The kitchen is next to the den where she is 95% of the time. She gets alert when I go into the kitchen, even when I’m not really doing anything. Recently she began demanding to sit in the kitchen with me while I dabbled. This surprises the girls.

2018. Time For A Treat.

By marymullen | October 12, 2019

It’s fun for me. Me: Hazel.. I bought a treat today. Hazel: (smiling) you did? What did you get? Me: French fries Hazel: Oh.. I like french fries (says the woman who won’t eat 80% of her meals).. Me: With ketchup or vinegar? Hazel: Both. Me: OK then, I will share with you in a couple minutes. Me: Hazel… I

2018. Trying To Rebuild. Having Communication Issues.

By marymullen | October 18, 2019

1 year ago Mary Mullen October 18, 2018 at 11:19 AM · If you had to provide directions on a thermostat, would this work? I’m trying really hard to communicate.

2018. What I Will Do To Teach A Hazel Nut

By marymullen | November 16, 2019

Mary Mullen November 16, 2018 at 2:36 PM · Some of you may think that Google translate is a wonderful service, but it’s not for me. I could tell she was trying to tell me something that was somewhat important. By now I know that the word Hazel can be translated to Jason. But, when I started reading words like “side

2018. Change The Song

By marymullen | October 8, 2019

1 year ago Mary Mullen October 8, 2018 at 1:31 AM ·  In the daytime when I hear “help me Ma” “help me Ma” I tell her to change the song. Then we break into “show me the way to go home… I’m tired and I want to go to bed… I had a drink about an hour ago and it

2019. “Stinky Talks Himself A New Name” – Projo Clip, Date Unknown.

By marymullen | October 17, 2019

Every so often Hazel would break out in some kind of jive talk. The first time she did it I almost fell on the floor and I made her repeat it several times. It was always too fast for me to follow for more than the first few words. I was so blown away that this older woman knew how

2019. A Poem About Death.

By marymullen | October 24, 2019

Epitaph – By Merrit Malloy When I die Give what’s left of me away To children And old men that wait to die. And if you need to cry, Cry for your brother Walking the street beside you. And when you need me, Put your arms Around anyone And give them What you need to give to me. I want

2019. Backgammon For Blood.

By marymullen | November 13, 2019

She was a woman after my own heart and I’m still learning it day by day.  These are just a couple of her books – books that are all right up my alley of interest.  So many I’ve found all on communications, public speaking, writing, self help topics and even dealing with grief. Look at this “Backgammon For Blood”… it

2019. Dear Walter, Please Marry Me.

By marymullen | December 11, 2019

DEAR WALTER, I love you with all myheart and I am asking you to marry me.  THE REASON I AM TYPING IS that I am toshy to say it in front of you.  Iam hoping you will marry me.  and realy want to get married.  GOOD BY until next SATURDAY. This note was typed by Hazels second born son in

2019. Hazel Still In Hospital, But…

By marymullen | February 14, 2020

I got another Hazel picture tonight. Hazel and one of her nuts both looking at the camera and she looks so much better. She called her little nut “my Angel”… which makes my heart happy. I was told that she was calling my name a couple days ago… which makes my heart leap with joy. I haven’t been around here

2019. Odds ‘N Ends circa ’94.

By marymullen | November 13, 2019

November 8, 2019  – Odds ‘N Ends She: OMG, the salad. It’s like Hazel is here! Me: Yeah, I do TRY to keep it healthy… I’ve been organizing and purging… cabinet by cabinet, drawer by drawer. The Queen and I were about the same size so there’s a little bit of a shopping experience mixed in. She was a class

2019. Old Tapes Opened Because Of New Deaths…

By marymullen | October 19, 2019

Dancing in the Sky Dani and Lizzy Tell me, what does it look like in heaven? Is it peaceful? Is it free like they say? Does the sun shine bright forever? Have your fears and your pain gone away? ‘Cause here on earth it feels like everything good is missing since you left And here on earth everything’s different, there’s

2019. Poked And Prodded

By marymullen | January 11, 2020

The world didn’t allow me to sit and stew in grief today. I didn’t sleep well last night but I was also woken up early for me. Hazel had a lot of prodding and poking, urine samples needed, a pelvic exam that needed to be done with dignity and a few blood draws that were not successful. It took two

2019. Quality Of Life Versus End Of Life

By marymullen | November 14, 2019

(Saved as Draft on 10/1/19) Different people have different perspectives of what ‘quality of life’ is. I hate to get too philosophical or graphic on FB, but, that seldom stops me when I need to share, or, purge, whatever the case may be. See, I will never forget that my younger sister was stripped of her quality of life when

2019. Ring The Bell For Me..

By marymullen | January 8, 2020

This was me last night. Then the downstairs yelling began. She was awake and not a happy camper. So I went downstairs to the bathroom and peeked my head into her room to say, “good night hazel, it’s almost 4 am”. That worked for all of two minutes. She was in rare form and was yelling up a storm. I

2019. She Visited Me At The Service.

By marymullen | October 22, 2019

October 21, 2019. Hazel looked beautiful and is resting in peace. She was decked out more than when we just hung at home and she looked peaceful. She wasn’t singing with me, wasn’t complimenting me on dinner or cracking any one liners, but, she let her presence to me be known in a very subtle way that only I would

2019. Spring Has Sprung

By marymullen | April 6, 2020

This Saturday was a sun day!! So much vitamin D and probably some sunburn, too. This Irish skin hasn’t soaked in sun for a few years now. And Sunday will be a fun day because I just prepped Hazel a brunch of her favorites (sans shrimp cocktail or celery for her bloody mary… I was rushed). It’s the little things

2019. This Is My Girl. Another MM. Mary McHugh. Fellow Pisces.

By marymullen | October 18, 2019

So much I have learned that I haven’t shared.  She and I developed an over the top kind of friendship in such a short time.  How I blindly landed at her side is story in itself.  All that I learned by being here is more fascinating than any fiction I’ve ever read. Hazel Mary (McHugh) Foster-Doesschate, 86, of Warwick, died

2019. We Nursed Her Back To Health

By marymullen | February 7, 2020

Bad day at the hospital for my friends. The helplessness an adult child of an ailing parent can be crippling at times. Even the strongest of us all are never really prepared for those moments when everything is beyond our control. As a family friend, I feel helpless, too. The best I can offer is prayers that Hazel will get

2019. We Nurses Her Back To Health And All Was Well Again

By marymullen | February 2, 2020

Damn! I miss Hazel (still in hospital) and the girls (still in hospital) – we’re all Hazel’s Nuts. I lived alone for a couple of years at Janes and before that I was living in a bizarre isolation. But, I’ve been clicking my heels for awhile now and it’s amazing to me the relationships emerging that are pretty much effortless.

2019. When You’re Young

By marymullen | November 3, 2019

I’m the perfect person to tell some of your stories Ms. Mary McHugh… I spent a year being amazed by your stories…

2019. A Heating Lesson

By marymullen | April 5, 2020

Growing up Mullen. If you got caught cranking that furnace to 80 degrees, so help you God. I never had to put the “gloves on” with Dad like the boys did and I never remember getting any beatings except from Michael. But, if I even dared to do it once I would have learned to never do it again. And

2019. Hazels Home Care

By marymullen | February 4, 2020

I found out today that little miss Hazel will probably have to go into rehab for weeks. I’m not a happy camper about that. If there is one thing I’ve learned around here is that she gets lots of love and attention – around the clock. She’s been in the comfort of her home all this time and she has

2019. One Calculated Word At A Time.

By marymullen | April 7, 2020

“Quiet” has never been a word anyone would ever use when it comes to describing me. Until lately. One of the girls around here told me I speak soft toned like (Meet) Joe Black. I think that is because I turn my tone down and choose my words very carefully when I speak with Hazel. Not all English words are

2019. Pissed. Keep Morphine To Yourself!

By marymullen | October 16, 2019

I’m messed up tonight. I’m writing draft after draft in private so I don’t have verbal diarrhea on social media. I’m practicing the 48 hour rule of nondisclosure at a time when 48 hours could be the difference between life and death.   My stomach is making noises as my sister in law witnessed when I was stressed in a

2019. Resume Building Activities

By marymullen | February 14, 2020

A friend exchange: He: I can see the resume now. Mary Mullen, House Mother. A skilled facilitator in house management. Able to counter interpersonal conflicts amongst the stable of working women. Ability to manage appropriate schedules as well as delivering proper dietary and nutritional needs to varied mix of culinary choices from a varied ethnic mix, and stretch a food

2019. RIP Hazel

By marymullen | October 21, 2019

3/9/33 – 10/16/19 Foster-Doesschate, Hazel Mary (McHugh) 86, of Warwick, died at home on Wednesday, October 16, 2019. Born in Providence, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Frances (Ellinwood) McHugh. She was the loving wife of the late Walter Doesschate, Jr. and mother of the late Robert J. Foster. Hazel worked as a supervisor for New England

2019. Scratches Like A Good Mom

By marymullen | April 4, 2020

One of the more common phrases you will hear around here is “Ma, can you scratch my back?” And her back is scratched more often than anyone I know.Today she reciprocated. She scratches like a good Mom, doesn’t she? #HazelNuts

2020. My Way Isn’t Always The Right Way.

By marymullen | January 10, 2020

I remember a little more than a year ago that I was speaking with a friend (who gives me very good advice, always) and he said, “tell him to pay you for all the work that you do. You have a bad habit of letting people take advantage of you… think about all you did for your ex and how

April 27

By marymullen | April 27, 2020

2019. One Flipping Year Ago! I sharpened my favorite knife today. What a treat. A ton of root veggies and a whole chicken and it was like slicing and dicing warm butter. 3 Quarts of Veggie Soup, Roasted Chicken with gravy, mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, roasted sweet potatoes, deviled eggs, apple crisp and veggie salad all prepped and ready for

December 24

By marymullen | December 24, 2019

2015. Did I Ever Tell You The Crucifix Story? The one pictured is not from Janie.  This is the one thing I asked to keep from all the beautiful possessions that have been uncovered from Hazel’s house.  There’s a reason why it is important to me. I know it’s blessed.  It was the smallest crucifix of many that I found

May 24

By marymullen | May 24, 2020

2019. The Queen Calls Them All “Ma”. I Didn’t Like The Calls I Heard Tonight.  She doesn’t call me “Ma”.  Maybe because I have a simple name, but, probably because I conditioned her to call me by name when I was really needed. We’ve got some jokes about that around here where girls wanted to change her regular rant from

May 26

By marymullen | May 26, 2020

2016: Something made me feel real old and out of touch today. I was looking at a calendar of “things to do” at the beach club. Last memories I have there are of late nights dancing and lobster boils on the beach with family and friends. Now they have needlepoint. Yes, you heard me right – “needlepoint clinic” to be

May 5

By marymullen | May 5, 2020

1980. ’80’s Are Just Entering The Scenes Now. Graduated from St. Patrick’s High School in May of 1980.  Didn’t know if I was going to graduate because I was at a stage of rebellion at that time and I failed my Religion final exam.  I got a 4 grade on a scale of 1-100.  I was reading Steven King novels

October 10

By marymullen | October 10, 2019

2019:  I hate today. That’s all there is to it. In the first place, the lady of the house is in obvious discomfort even though I administered Lorazepam as instructed. She hasn’t stopped yelling “help me” since 11 am. Once again I am administering comfort measure medications as I did with my sister. I know it’s necessary, I even know

October 16

By marymullen | October 16, 2019

2020. 1 Year, 1 Month And 18 Days That equals 413 days which is also 9,912 hours that I made myself available to help care for my 85 year old new friend and roommate. Not once was I ever offered compensation for the many services rendered. At times I wasn’t even compensated for the hundreds of dollars I spent monthly